Monday, March 30, 2015

Down And Dirty

Doing a mural can be messy work but doing one on the ground makes it twice as interesting. This weekend I was participating at the Chalk Art Festival in Tucson. I was one of two artists selected to work inside on a prepared surface instead of out side on concrete in 95 degree temp's. These murals are not meant to be permanent. The surface I worked on was tar paper used in roofing mounted on wood. It took the pastel well but it was hard to get a solid surface. So when you are given lemons, you make lemonade. The background rock wall and sand did well with the black paper coming through. The animals made due, the sky was more work then it needed to be but it came together. I went through about 7-8 sticks of blue to fill in the sky.

This event is hosted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. They have another event coming up in Phoenix - Scottsdale area April  18th. This event is held at several locations, I will be at Desert Ridge Shopping Center. This is a one day event only. To find out more details or become involved yourself check the web site:

Here are a few pictures from some of the artists this weekend. Thanks to a nice lady at Park Place for taking a picture of me with my iphone. Thank you to Judy Johnson who stopped by and took some pictures. Judy and I had never met  before, we have a friend in common, Lori Edwards Goldman. I enjoyed meeting new people, talking art to young and old. My favored was a little boy who was trying to convince his mother she needed to buy my mural for his room. Made me smile!

mural by linda harrison-parsons

mural by Ruben Moreno

mural by Jose Ignacio Garcia

mural by Martin Quintanilla

photo by Judy Johnson

photo by Judy Johnson

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mural - Mural - On The Wall...

Or it could be on the street too. Saturday I will be doing a public mural in pastel at the Chalk Festival in Tucson. There are a dozen artists that have selected scenes that reflect AZ especially Tucson. I will be doing a scene inspired by the Reid Zoo. Which is very close to the location of the festival: Park Place 5870 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson. If you are in the area stop on by, there are fliers with locations of all the artists.

This event is hosted by the Southern AZ Arts & Cultural Alliance. They have another public mural in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area coming up April 18th at several locations. I just received notice I will be creating my mural at Desert Ridge, not sure of exact location but they will have fliers and information on their web site.

If you would be interested in doing a street mural there is still time to apply for the April 18th event, deadline has been extended to March 31. Check the web site for additional information.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dots and Dashes

I was looking through my files of photographs. Many of which are animals, no real surprise there. When I take pictures I take the over all shot, the face/portrait shot, then I zoom in for the details. The patterns, the dots and dashes.

I was planning to title this blog dot dash dot, wanted to see what I was saying in Morse Code. Come to find out a single dot is the letter E, a single dash is the letter T which is ET! Guess we all need to phone home sometimes. I checked to see what the pattern for ART was: .- A .-. R - T all together    .- .-. -

The patterns, dots and dashes of animals are much easier to read. These close ups allow me to see the direction fur goes, the many colors that may be within each dot or dash. They are what help me ...---... (SOS) be a better artist. A little help here and there is always a good thing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I was going to try to post images from the paint out at the Desert Botanical Gardens during the month of March. The month is quickly getting away from me and I have not posted a single image. Today I will play catch up, here are 2 from the garden plein air and one from the studio/backyard painting. The 3rd week at the garden was so-so still not loving the image and it is not done. Will look at it a bit longer but I have a feeling it is going to get a new look soon. When a pastel is not working I sometimes blend it all together to create a new background. Most of the time that works very well for me, removing the image I was trying to create. Leaving me with a abstract background and no preconceived image.

Cactus Wren almost done, pastel on paper

Mesquite tree in spring, pastel on paper

Costa Hummingbird, oil on canvas board

Monday, March 23, 2015

Taking Ten

Monday, what do you say about Monday's. The start to the work week for most people. Artists tend to work over weekends so where does their week begin and end?
This morning I am taking ten minutes to sit outside, do this blog and finish my coffee. My reward just flew over - the great horned owl. I usually see them in the early evening. 
It is going to be a busy week, framing for upcoming shows, preparing for a presentation, finishing works started last week/weekend and general day to day chores.
Take ten today, enjoy a moment with nature.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Have You Hugged A Rhino Today?

I did not get to hug a rhino but I did get to pet one. It was an interesting experience, his skin was soft and hard at the same time. His name is "Jericho" and he lives at "Out of Africa, Wildlife Park" 3505 W. SR-260, Camp Verde, AZ. This is near Cottonwood, AZ.

Rick arranged a special back scenes tour for us. The owner, Dean, was our guide and we were the only two on the tour that morning, lucky us! We talked of travel to Africa, the animals, rescuing them, and learning to understand their behaviors. Dean and his wife Prayeri have been taking in animals for many years. Some come from circuses, shows in Vegas, or from people who thought owning a baby tiger was a good idea. They take in animals that are retiring from show business, that need that last forever home. Many of the animals share spaces together, some prefer to live alone.

Jericho is a southern white rhinoceros, the white has nothing to do with the color. The Dutch called this type of rhino, "wijd" it was misunderstood as the word white, but translated in English means "wide", referring to it's wide mouth, used for grazing.

Dean & Prayeri have spent years creating special bonds with the animals at the Park. They do not train them to do tricks but they allow them to do what comes natural to them. The animals respond with respect and affection. As seen when Dean went into the wolf area and they came running to him for tummy rubs. They are not dogs but they displayed that same behavior of happiness for their humans.

If you would like to learn more about them here is the web site:

Jericho white rhino

Dean with wolf

Reticulated Giraffe 

Nilgai Antelope

Up close feeding zebra treats 
Tiger - one of several 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Just Around The Corner

Lots of things are coming up, this Saturday, March 7th starts the Scottsdale Artists League Paint Out at the Desert Botanical Gardens. There are on average 40 artists that participate in this event, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm we will be throughout the gardens painting the things that we see. There will be paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel. Most of the works will be small 5x7, 8x10, and a few larger pieces too. They are just the right size to take with you as a memento of your visit to AZ and the gardens.

This event takes place each Saturday in March, this year we will also have the 1st Saturday in April to paint. The follow weekend in April, 10-11-12th will be the big show and sale. All of the works that have been painted over those 5 weeks will be on display at the gardens. A percentage of the sales go to the Desert Botanical Garden and a percentage goes to the Scottsdale Artists Leagues Scholarship Program.

If you are in town come on by and see the gardens, talk with the artists and maybe pick up a little something. If you have an interest in doing this yourself check the web site for membership information.

For information about the gardens, fees, directions:

Desert Botanical Gardens: 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ
Dates: March 7,14,21,28, and April 4th for Paint Out 9:00 - 3:00
Show & Sale: April 10,11,12th 9:00 - 5:00

My Backyard

Sometimes all the inspiration you need can be found in your backyard. This season has had more rain then last year. I have become mildly obsessed with the clouds. Now how to I incorporate them into my wildlife and nature work. Maybe birds flying with the clouds to the background or a big old mesquite tree with the clouds filling the space in-between the branches.

Each morning as I watch the sun rise from behind the mountains, watching the color changes in the sky, the clouds, the mountains have become a moment to meditate. Watching the birds fly to the feeder, the flowers, hang on the branches, chase each other around. Have not seen as many coyote in the morning but still hear them calling at night.

The flowers are coming out, new leaves are on the little leaf paloverde. Nests are being built in the saguaro cactus and the temperatures are rising. We have peach faced parrots taking up residence in the saguaro this year. Our hummingbirds are still working out establishing who's territory is who's.

The inspiration is everywhere, I do see a few hummingbird paintings coming over the next few weeks. Walk out your back door and just look around to be inspired.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wild At HeART

What does Wild at HeART mean - it is simple - wild about wildlife/nature and incorporating it into ART. Today is World Wildlife Day, if you want to find out more details here is the web site:

As you all know I am a nature and wildlife artist. I do not often get on my soapbox about things but ever now and again I may. I worry that not too far into the future many of our wildlife will be extinct. Too many already are nearing extinction or can no longer be found in the wild.

If you are interested in African elephants, you know I am, a good read is "An African Love Story" by Daphne Sheldrick. You can find out more about Daivd Sheldrick and the wildlife trust at:

Today I am posting a few images, as in the past if you are interested send me an e-mail at: I will donate 50% of the sale between Sheldrick Wildlife Organization & World Wildlife Organization. I will cover shipping within the United States.

"Winter Walk" 6x10" image pastel over coffee stained paper 11x14 framed  300.00

"Fine Lines" 12x36" oil on canvas painted around edges, no frame needed 1200.00 

"Black Tears" oil on canvas 8x10" 400.00 (unframed)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pods & Pedals

One of my favorite months in Arizona is March. This winter has had some rain and snow in higher elevations. The benefit of this has already become apparent, it will be a bountiful spring full of color.
I love the color from the pedals of the blossoms, leaves but the seed pods are just so much fun to draw. 

Starting Saturday I will be painting at the Desert Botanical Gardens. My plain aire painting tends to focus on the up close, the details. I'm thinking this year may focus on plants, pods and maybe a few of our feathered friends.

I will try to post the weekends work each Monday. Sometimes it takes me a couple visits to complete the work. I do take reference photos so I can work in the studio too.

Until then here are a few pedals and pods seen outside by door.

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...